I’m Back!

Back in the studio, finally

. . . the ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.

John Steinbeck

Catching up on some Steinbeck reading

The Saturday morning is lovely, looking out the window of my new studio, and I’m happy to be back painting again, working on the first of several commissions that arrived over the past week.

The Steinbeck quote above seized my sentiments as I read early this morning, and I decided I needed to respond on the blog. I’m aware of a nation raging around me as I go about my day-to-day tasks. My reason for this lengthy blog hiatus is twofold: I don’t want to post negative items on the blog, and (2) we have been working daily for weeks getting this house back in order. One of the tasks among many was moving my studio to another room. I had no idea how much would be involved in just that. Downsizing my library has also been paintful–so far I’ve shrunk it down by about 25% which translated into over thirty boxes of books out the door, books I swore I would never release. I also chose to dispose of my entire LP and CD collection along with the complete stereo and speaker cabinets. Lightening my load has actually felt wonderful in many ways, though I could still turn loose of plenty more items, and believe I will as time continues on. At any rate, today has offered me the respite of reading and painting, and I’m grateful for that gift.

What caught my attention in the Steinbeck reading is this: the creator’s purpose in exposing the dark underbelly of society is the hope of improvement. I recall Nietzsche’s Zarathustra speech proclaiming that all generations prior to ours managed to create something beyond themselves. Do we want to go down in history as the first generation to withdraw toward the slime? Though now retired, I gladly worked in the education field, believing with Emerson and Thoreau in that German sense of Bildung, that education is an organic process of growth, natural maturation and improvement. Never before in my lifetime have I enjoyed such a surge of technological improvement, and I feel spoiled by these gifts of smart phones, wi-fi and the ability to “connect” with others as never before. Yet I feel that the ethos of the society in which I find myself is severely devolving. I have no answers. I only wish not to contribute to the hate, rejection and intolerance that seems to be getting too much attention.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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